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Safehold clocks

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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Keith_w   » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:38 pm

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I think it would have made more sense to adjust the size of the second to absorb the 31 minutes into however many hours they wanted the day to last.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:05 am

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Keith_w wrote:I think it would have made more sense to adjust the size of the second to absorb the 31 minutes into however many hours they wanted the day to last.


I suspect the number of things defined at least partially by seconds or minutes that would have to be recalculated is what deterred the Archangels from changing time units to suit a different length of second.

Everything from the speed of light to a normal pulse rate would have to be redefined/rewritten. With Terran Federation computer tech, like OWL or Merlin, that wouldn't be much of a problem. With everything reverting to ink-on-paper technology for reference works, just finding every reference to "per second," "per minute," or "Per Hour" -- and all variations -- would be a daunting task.

Under the original plan, such an effort to convert to a Safeholdian set of references would be pointless. After Langhorne's change in the plan, it was probably too late to revise everything before printing.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by dobriennm   » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:15 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
I suspect the number of things defined at least partially by seconds or minutes that would have to be recalculated is what deterred the Archangels from changing time units to suit a different length of second.

Everything from the speed of light to a normal pulse rate would have to be redefined/rewritten. With Terran Federation computer tech, like OWL or Merlin, that wouldn't be much of a problem. With everything reverting to ink-on-paper technology for reference works, just finding every reference to "per second," "per minute," or "Per Hour" -- and all variations -- would be a daunting task.

Under the original plan, such an effort to convert to a Safeholdian set of references would be pointless. After Langhorne's change in the plan, it was probably too late to revise everything before printing.


I agree with your last paragraph, but it wouldn't have been that much effort for what was written in the Holy Writ which came from the Archangels. After all, any constants would have to be re-written into Roman numerals anyway plus converted from metric units. Since a computer would have been doing all of that already, a little extra conversion would not have been difficult. Also, you already had to convert units (length, temperature, weight/mass, etc) from the metric system into those used by Safehold.

Plus, you'd probably be suprised how few constants and such would be needed. For example, speed of light is a meaningless term for Safehold as envisioned by Langhorne. Most other constants we use today would also be meaningless oe not needed for Safehold.

However, it was probably moot since Langhorne wasn't completely in control until well after the colonist's were awakened on the "Day of Creation". But if he had been, it would have been better (for his plan at least) to have arranged things to make a complete break with the past.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Keith_w   » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:25 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
Keith_w wrote:I think it would have made more sense to adjust the size of the second to absorb the 31 minutes into however many hours they wanted the day to last.


I suspect the number of things defined at least partially by seconds or minutes that would have to be recalculated is what deterred the Archangels from changing time units to suit a different length of second.

Everything from the speed of light to a normal pulse rate would have to be redefined/rewritten. With Terran Federation computer tech, like OWL or Merlin, that wouldn't be much of a problem. With everything reverting to ink-on-paper technology for reference works, just finding every reference to "per second," "per minute," or "Per Hour" -- and all variations -- would be a daunting task.

Under the original plan, such an effort to convert to a Safeholdian set of references would be pointless. After Langhorne's change in the plan, it was probably too late to revise everything before printing.


It would not have been a problem to redefine the second in any way. That is what computers are for. The only written materials that the colonists had were the Holy Writ and the Testimonies, and we know what happened to them after the War of the Fallen (which in my humble opinion the Fallen won). Even before the war, as part of the original Holy Writ, to have the computer redefine the second would be a simple matter of telling the computer to locate all references to time as a measure and increase the size of the second by .128368794326241% (26hrs, 31min is 95460 SI seconds, our day is 86400 SI seconds), assuming that you want your day to be 24 hours long. If you want to just ditch the excess 31 minutes, you adjust the length of the second accordingly. Then you have your computer redesign clock work so that it works with that length of second. AI computers are so handy at times.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:38 pm

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dobriennm wrote:I agree with your last paragraph, but it wouldn't have been that much effort for what was written in the Holy Writ which came from the Archangels. After all, any constants would have to be re-written into Roman numerals anyway plus converted from metric units. Since a computer would have been doing all of that already, a little extra conversion would not have been difficult. Also, you already had to convert units (length, temperature, weight/mass, etc) from the metric system into those used by Safehold.
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However, it was probably moot since Langhorne wasn't completely in control until well after the colonist's were awakened on the "Day of Creation". But if he had been, it would have been better (for his plan at least) to have arranged things to make a complete break with the past.


Keith_w wrote:It would not have been a problem to redefine the second in any way. That is what computers are for. The only written materials that the colonists had were the Holy Writ and the Testimonies, and we know what happened to them after the War of the Fallen (which in my humble opinion the Fallen won).


Right up to the point that everything was committed to ink-on-paper there would be no problem creating a coherent change to a different timing system. Once it gets committed to paper, changing anything requires tracking down every physical copy and replacing it. Not to mention reprogramming everyone's various mnemonics and shortcuts (like timing things with your pulse) once the colonists were awakened.

Making any sort of change before the colonists were awakened and things were committed to paper would be trivial. Changing anything after that point would be orders of magnitude more difficult and less likely to be complete.

Merlin had an original copy of the Writ when awakened at the beginning of OAR. The Order of St Jerneau (sp) also had all sorts of documentation showing the changes made. The Sisters of St Khody had a similar paper trail of changes and deletions. Any attempt to implement a total change in time keeping would have to deal with old clocks hidden in attics as well as copies of virtually everything already printed and re-programming the memories and habits of every colonist.

Trivial before anyone would think it necessary, almost totally impractical by the time it would have been needed.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Silverwall   » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:46 pm

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actually building a clock that can handle the 31 minute comp hour is not that hard.

The clock makes 26 normal hour cycles each time progressing a counting gear one tick, when it completes the cycle the counting gear triggers a seperate 31 minute counting gear that takes over the main mechanism before tripping back to the standard 26 hour cycle
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Keith_w   » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:42 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
Right up to the point that everything was committed to ink-on-paper there would be no problem creating a coherent change to a different timing system. Once it gets committed to paper, changing anything requires tracking down every physical copy and replacing it. Not to mention reprogramming everyone's various mnemonics and shortcuts (like timing things with your pulse) once the colonists were awakened.

Making any sort of change before the colonists were awakened and things were committed to paper would be trivial. Changing anything after that point would be orders of magnitude more difficult and less likely to be complete.

Merlin had an original copy of the Writ when awakened at the beginning of OAR. The Order of St Jerneau (sp) also had all sorts of documentation showing the changes made. The Sisters of St Khody had a similar paper trail of changes and deletions. Any attempt to implement a total change in time keeping would have to deal with old clocks hidden in attics as well as copies of virtually everything already printed and re-programming the memories and habits of every colonist.

Trivial before anyone would think it necessary, almost totally impractical by the time it would have been needed.


Yes, Merlin had a copy, placed there by Pei Kau-yung. However, all the other copies of the Writ were replaced with the re-written one following the end of the war. St. Jerneauians did not have anything except the letter and the history of the Terran Federation once they opened the vault of St. Jerneau. The sisters had a journal purportedly written by their namesake saint.

But beyond that, I believe that it would have been a change supported even by Shan-Wei, in order to support the fiction that this was their native world, as they were supposed to do originally.

Let's face it, how stupid would it have been for us to break up our day into 24 and a half hours? Admittedly our 24 hour day and 365 day year are not accurate, which is why we throw leap seconds and days into the mix as appropriate, but they are as accurate as the time keepers of the time were able to make things. Safeholdian time should have been set the same way from the beginning.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:25 am

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Everybody involved with Project Ark were used to the process of colonizing worlds with different days length and year lengths.

The idea that every world would use the standard hours/minutes/seconds was deeply embedded in their thought process.

The idea that the Safeholdains were to believe "this is their world there is no other world" would be secondary in their thoughts.

Of course, Shan-Wei would be operating on the idea that eventually the Safeholdains would learn the Truth so would be less likely than Langhorne to think about "changing hours/minutes/second".

Sure our measures of time are artificial but the current "definitions" are embedded enough in our thought process that making a major change without a major reason would be a difficult sell.

It's possible that one of Langhorne's supporters suggested such as change, but I doubt that he'd get much support from Langhorne.

By the way, there was an earlier conversation about Safehold time and clock-making and IIRC David Weber said something about Langhorne not being "interested" in making the clock-makers' job easier. :lol:

Keith_w wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:
Right up to the point that everything was committed to ink-on-paper there would be no problem creating a coherent change to a different timing system. Once it gets committed to paper, changing anything requires tracking down every physical copy and replacing it. Not to mention reprogramming everyone's various mnemonics and shortcuts (like timing things with your pulse) once the colonists were awakened.

Making any sort of change before the colonists were awakened and things were committed to paper would be trivial. Changing anything after that point would be orders of magnitude more difficult and less likely to be complete.

Merlin had an original copy of the Writ when awakened at the beginning of OAR. The Order of St Jerneau (sp) also had all sorts of documentation showing the changes made. The Sisters of St Khody had a similar paper trail of changes and deletions. Any attempt to implement a total change in time keeping would have to deal with old clocks hidden in attics as well as copies of virtually everything already printed and re-programming the memories and habits of every colonist.

Trivial before anyone would think it necessary, almost totally impractical by the time it would have been needed.


Yes, Merlin had a copy, placed there by Pei Kau-yung. However, all the other copies of the Writ were replaced with the re-written one following the end of the war. St. Jerneauians did not have anything except the letter and the history of the Terran Federation once they opened the vault of St. Jerneau. The sisters had a journal purportedly written by their namesake saint.

But beyond that, I believe that it would have been a change supported even by Shan-Wei, in order to support the fiction that this was their native world, as they were supposed to do originally.

Let's face it, how stupid would it have been for us to break up our day into 24 and a half hours? Admittedly our 24 hour day and 365 day year are not accurate, which is why we throw leap seconds and days into the mix as appropriate, but they are as accurate as the time keepers of the time were able to make things. Safeholdian time should have been set the same way from the beginning.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:54 pm

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WeberFan wrote:I guess I don't see the logic of it... I mean, I completely understand that the time it takes Safehold to rotate is 26 Safehold hours plus another 31 safehold minutes that always occur at the same time every night. Simple enough.

If I understand the clock, there are a certain number of hours, with each hour consisting of a number of minutes. Langhorne's Watch is 31 minutes, but each of those minutes is the same duration of any other minute in the day. So in my head, I picture a clock face that has 26 equal divisions, plus another than is roughly half the size of any of the 26 other divisions. The extra half-hour or so would always take place at the same time (following one circuit of the rest of the clock face).
That handles the hour hand neatly enough - the safehold day is 1591 minutes long no (26*60+31) so an hour hand advancing 0.226 degrees per minute will go round the clock face once per day; the 26 normal hours each take about 13.57 degrees of the clock face and Comp takes the last 7.28.

But the minute hand makes things trickier. To work for the normal hours it need to advance at 6 degrees per minute. But if it advances at that same speed during Comp that at the end of Comp, minute 0 of the first hour of the day, the minute hand is erroneously pointing to 31 past the hour instead of the top of the hour.

I can see a few ways to handle that, but most make the clock harder to design that a clock that has each hour the same length throughout a day.
1) assume people don't need that much accuracy and just omit the minute hand. Simple to design and people can estimate by eye roughly how far the hour hand moved towards the next hour mark.

2) Almost double the minute hand rate during Comp, up to 11.61 degrees / min. You'd have to mark a 3rd set of numbers on the clock face, and need a gearing shift at the start and end of Comp, but could do everything on a single dial

3) keep the minute hand speed the same but 'jump' it forward to 0 at the end of Comp. that'd be hard to do mechanically; but would be an easy approach for a video display simulating an analog clock face. (Too bad Safehold can't build those)

4) freeze the normal minute hand during Comp and run a secondary clock face for those 31 minutes. Though for astetic reasons I'd probably then also leave Comp's hour off the main face and freeze both its hands for the 31 minutes the Comp face was running. Again you need to track when you begin and end Comp - but a mechanism to stop moving a display is easier to buisd than one that reliable and accurately whips the minute handforward 174 degrees almost instantly.
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Re: Safehold clocks
Post by evilauthor   » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:18 am

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DrakBibliophile wrote:It's possible that one of Langhorne's supporters suggested such as change, but I doubt that he'd get much support from Langhorne.

By the way, there was an earlier conversation about Safehold time and clock-making and IIRC David Weber said something about Langhorne not being "interested" in making the clock-makers' job easier. :lol:


Yeah. I can easily see Langhorne thinking that Comp Time would be another nail in the coffin of science.

From a Safeholdian point of view, there's no rational reason for Langhorne's Watch to exist except that Langhorne/God wants it to exist. And that only reinforces a nonscientific mindset.
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